Nigel Slater's Middle East


Series 1 - Episode 2 Turkey



This tour of Turkey is as much about anthropology as cooking. Nigel Slater is interested not just in amazing meals but in the cultures that centre on them.

If that sounds dry, it’s anything but: we get scene after scene where Slater meets warm, welcoming locals – mostly in Anatolia – and observes as they prepare fascinatingly laborious dishes, according to traditions that, we are told, may be dying out.

In one house he encounters super-thin flatbreads stacked like poppadoms in a tower five feet high. He sees how grape molasses is made and tries a claggy cheese fondue in the Black Sea region – for breakfast. Plus sticky baklava made from sheets of filo pastry as big as bedsheets.


Turkey is one of only a handful of nations that has the ability to be self-sufficient. Its hugely diverse landscape produces a spectacular range and quantity of produce that defines its local cuisine. In Istanbul, Nigel gets a taste of the exuberant dishes of the Sultans, before travelling to Central Anatolia where he meets families who are working hard to preserve their traditional food culture in the face of mounting modernity. The food writer also explores the Eastern Black Sea region, where he discovers the truly mosaic-like quality of Turkish culture and cuisine.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Nigel Slater
Director Pete Lawrence
Editor Dan Thomas
Executive Producer Pete Lawrence
Series Editor Katie Brosnan
Lifestyle Food